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After a successful surgical procedure earlier this year, a 4-year-old Michigan girl with cerebral palsy took her first steps, and her proud mother recorded every “step” of the way.
Health reports that Maya Tisdale, also known on social media as “Mighty Miss Maya,” was captured on Instagram by her mother last Monday as she walked several steps while in her family home in Traverse City. The little girl, wearing pink support braces on her legs, smiled and laughed as she took her first steps.
“I’m walking! I’m walking!” Maya shouted as her mother recorded the monumental incident.
Walking for Maya is a great accomplishment, as physicians doubted she would ever be able to take any steps alone. Maya was born four months prematurely in 2013 and was welcomed into the world weighing only a pound.
When she turned one, Maya’s doctor diagnosed her with spastic cerebral palsy. The diagnosis made it almost impossible for the little girl to ever stand, much less walk without assistance.
She was “unable to stand on her own for more than a few seconds, or walk without the use of walker,” Maya’s family said on their site.
Maya, however, has always been independent and according to her mother, always wanted to do the things her older brothers did, especially walking on her own.
“We’re always trying to help her and she always says, ‘No, I can do it!'” Maya’s mom told ABC. “She doesn’t need or want help to do things. She’s going to try to do it herself.”
In May, the family made a trip to St. Louis, where Maya underwent Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, a surgical procedure that would “permanently reduce Maya’s spasticity, giving her the ability to live with less pain and greater mobility.”
“This surgery is the only option to permanently reduce Maya’s spasticity, giving her the ability to live with less pain and greater mobility,” the family said on Maya’s YouCaring page, set up to help raise funds for the little girl to undergo the procedure.
After surgery, Maya’s physician warned that it would long, hard sessions of physical therapy before Maya would be able to walk. Yet, within less than seven weeks after the surgical procedure, Maya proved that she was determined to walk.
“We expected where Maya was before surgery that it would take her at least six months to a year to get to independent steps and here we are seven weeks after. … She’s just kind of blowing it out of the water,” the proud mom told ABC.
Maya’s mother said that although her little girl is walking, she still lives with cerebral palsy and goes through the daily challenges that come along with having the disorder. The family plans to keep Maya in physical therapy for most days each week, in hopes that the little girl will become stronger and master the ability of walking independently even further.
Maya still has CP (cerebral palsy). She still has the damage in her brain and she still has some tightness in her legs.. … She’s going to continue with physical therapy five days a week, just like we’ve been doing, and get stronger and practice her skill of walking. But to just to have those first steps and knowing that it’s possible is so great for her and our family.”
To learn more about spastic CP, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options, refer to our article, Spastic Cerebral Palsy.